Williams back to her best against Sharapova

Serena Williams sent out an ominous message to the women's game as she stormed past Maria Sharapova, booking her place in the semi-finals of the Bank of the West Classic for the loss of just four games.

Serena Williams sent out an ominous message to the women's game as she stormed past Maria Sharapova, booking her place in the semi-finals of the Bank of the West Classic for the loss of just four games.

The American, down to 169 in the world following a year of injury and health problems, was close to her powerful best as she raced to a 6-1 6-3 win over the Wimbledon finalist and second seed in 69 minutes.

Williams was dominant on her own delivery, winning 75% of points on her first serve, as she followed up her wins against Maria Kirilenko and Anastasia Rodionova, who she beat 6-0 6-0 in the first round.

Williams' semi-final will be a seed-free affair after Sabine Lisicki dumped out Agnieszka Radwanska.

The fifth seed slipped to a 7-6 (7/4) 2-6 6-2 defeat.

The other semi-final will be between the third and eighth seeds after Marion Bartoli advanced thanks to Ayumi Morita's retirement and Dominika Cibulkova eased past qualifier Marina Erakovic 6-1 6-1.

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